Ready to book a super fantastic dinner cruise NYC style? If so then this post is 110% for you.
I mean, hi. I AM a 30+ year local who has basically explored every nook and cranny of this gorgeous city of ours.
I also try and get out on the water every chance I get. After all, there really is nothing like enjoying our amazing skyline from a totally different perspective.
But, when you look at all the best dinner cruises NYC has to offer, the number of choices can be downright overwhelming.
I mean, how do you know which ones are worth all of your hard-earned dollars and which ones should be avoided?
And that’s why I’m here today writing this nifty little post. I want to do all the hard work for you so that you can quickly and easily pick the best dinner cruise NYC has for you.
So, stop stressing and use this expert guide to quickly pick the best dinner cruise in New York City for you.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
If you’re booking a trip right now then I IMPLORE you to get travel insurance – even if it’s not from me.
After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especialy since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
🥂 Busy? Then book this dinner cruise in NYC right now! It’s my personal fave and has everything you need for a magical experience. 🥂
Best Dinner Cruise NYC has to Offer
1. NYC: Luxury Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Harbor Cruise with City Cruises
⭐️ Rating: 4.7/5.0 (369 Reviews) Price: $104 per person Duration: 2-3 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pier 61, Chelsea Piers Operator: City Cruises Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
With different types of harbor cruises departing from ports all across the country, it’s not surprising that this titan of the sightseeing cruise world (i.e. City Cruises) has a contender for the best dinner cruise NYC has to offer.
And while I’m personally a fan of their brunch cruise (since we all know how much I love me a fun brunch in nyc with bottomless mimosas, breakfast pastries, and french toast) the beauty of this cruise option is that they have brunch, lunch, and dinner departures available.
So, regardless of the New York City harbor cruise you’re looking for, they have a fantastic option for you.
Just be aware that you will need to dress in slightly fancier attire if you opt for the dinner cruise since the lunch and brunch cruises are both a bit more casual (i.e. wear a nice dress).
And, added bonus? You’ll get to luxuriate aboard a European-style boat with panoramic glass windows.
Therefore, it is now easier than ever to enjoy some of the best-unobstructed views of NYC as you cruise past the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and One World Trade Center.
Heck, you’ll even get to enjoy the musical stylings of a live jazz pianist while you feast on an incredible 3-course meal – prepared by a world-class chef – from the comfort of your very own private table.
Seriously, what’s not to love about this cruise? In fact, one patron said:
“One of the best times of my life!!! I did it for the birthday of my wife, and I thought I messed up because of the fog, but boy was I wrong!!! Beef tasted like butter, the ride was too smooth, and we’ll never forget this day!!! Thank you to Nichy, he was the server that helped accentuate the ambiance, as well as the band and their beautiful music!!!”Ryan (click here to read more reviews)
So, what are you waiting for? Book your cruise now and find out what all the fuss is about!
Pro Tip: Boarding begins 30 minutes before departure and the menu is subject to change. You’ll also want to make one reservation per group if you want to sit together. Not gonna lie, I’m also a huge fan of the bottomless mimosas and their brunch cruise.
2. Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (916 Reviews) Price: $229 per person Duration: 3 hours 📍Meeting Point: Chelsea Piers Operator: City Cruises Details: Read more on Viator Now!
Looking for a swank AF experience that is easily the best dinner cruise NYC has?
If so then look no further than this Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise. Yes, this option is a bit pricey at $229.00 per person.
But, you know what they say? You get what you pay for.
And with this premium dinner cruise aboard the Bateaux New York, you’ll enjoy a decadent 3-course meal, live music, and unparalleled views of the Big Apple.
Yeah, the views are pretty sick since the boat is all glass and you are on the water. As a result, there is nothing really in the way to obstruct your view.
So, after boarding the vessel at 6:15 pm at Chelsea Piers, sail past the Statue of Liberty, the Seaport District, Governors Island, and the Manhattan skyline.
Next, do a bit of dancing to some live jazz music (from an actual pianist) with a few of your fave besties before digging into a decadent meal and returning to Chelsea Piers at 10:00 pm.
Yup, you’ll make memories to last a lifetime since past patrons are saying that:
“The maitre d made our experience magical!! Our server was amazing as well!! The best part of our trip!”Samantha (click here to read more reviews)
Pro Tip: This is a fancy NYC dinner cruise so kids are not allowed. You are also expected to dress up in semi-formal attire, so don’t roll up in a ratty pair of sweatpants. #justsayin’
3. New York City: Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Buffet River Cruise with City Cruises
⭐️ Rating: 4.4/5.0 (281 Reviews) Price: $104 per person Duration: 2-3 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pier 61, Chelsea Piers Operator: City Cruises Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Another top pick for the best dinner cruise in NYC, this buffet river cruise is also operated by City Cruises.
So, it’ll be very similar to my top pick. It just feels a bit more casual since this cruise offers a buffet dining experience instead of a formal sit-down meal.
See, this cruise features a lavish lunch, brunch, or dinner buffet that you can happily enjoy from the comfort of the Spirit of New York.
And as your cruise along the Hudson and East Rivers. you’ll take in sweeping views of the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and more.
You’ll also sip on unlimited coffee/tea/iced tea as you listen to the musical stylings of your onboard DJ.
In fact, this cruise is so rad that customers are saying:
“We appreciate the customer service. The sightseeing, the food, and the music was great. I would recommend the lunch buffet cruise on the Spirit of New York for any visitor to New York.”Ralph (check out more reviews now)
Pro Tip: This is a pick for the best dinner cruise NYC has to offer if you’re looking for something a bit more casual.
4. New York Lunch Cruise
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (99 Reviews) Price: $104 per person Duration: 2 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pier 61, Chelsea Piers Operator: City Cruises Details: Read more on Viator Now!
Operated by the rockstars over at City Cruises, this is the best dinner cruise NYC has to offer that departs daily at 12:00 pm.
So, if you’re open to embarking on a lunch cruise in NYC through the East and Hudson Rivers then this experience is ideal.
Not only will you get access to a spacious sun deck where you can enjoy impressive views, but you’ll dig into a sumptuous lunch buffet that is filled with freshly made desserts, entrees, and salads.
And if you really want to live la vida loca you can opt for an optional open bar upgrade as you dance the day away to live music from a local DJ.
After all, the upgrade is pretty rad and includes a welcome glass of champagne in a souvenir mug as well as a VIP private table for your group, and access to an open bar.
Just don’t forget to stop and enjoy some up-close views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building along the way.
Other highlights include a climate-controlled interior, unlimited soft drinks, access to a rooftop lounge, and fun bar games too.
In fact, past guests are saying that:
“Took this cruise in December to celebrate my father’s birthday and it was a quality experience. Lots of entertainment onboard between the games, dancing and the guided tour. Staff were very kind and helpful. Food was tasty. Trip was exactly as described. No complaints.”Alexis (read more reviews now)
5. Circle Line: Complete Manhattan Island Cruise
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (2391 Reviews) Price: $44 per person Duration: 2.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pier 83 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10019 Operator: Circle Line Details: Read more on Viator Now!
Easily one of the most highly-rated picks for the best dinner cruise NYC has to offer, this Complete Manhattan Island Cruise from Circle Line is an extended cruise through New York Harbor that departs right from midtown Manhattan.
So this is a great choice if you’re staying at one of the best hotels in Times Square.
Once on board, you’ll listen to live commentary as you see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building from the boat.
And while dinner is not included, you can purchase a variety of snacks and drinks onboard, making this a fantastic option for those of you traveling on a budget.
Plus, free WiFi is available onboard and you’ll get access to a spacious outdoor deck where you can take lots of photos.
“Excellent value for the money. Andy tour guide was fantastic! We will recommend to friends. Learned many new things about NYC.”Mark (read more reviews now)
However, for those you looking for a bit more of a luxurious dinner cruise in NYC, you can upgrade your trip to include:
- Skip-the-line privileges, access to an exclusive indoor area/outdoor patio with the best views + water, and dedicated wait service.
- Summer VIP package upgrade that includes lunch (think lobster rolls at North River Lobster) + premium first-class seating near the captain.
- And more!
Therefore, this is the best dinner cruise NYC has to offer that is highly customizable and that can be individually tailored to suit the specific needs of you and your travel companions.
6. New York City Landmarks Circle Line Cruise
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (656 Reviews) Price: $37 per person Duration: 90 minutes 📍Meeting Point: Pier 83 at 83 North River Piers West 43rd Street and, 12th Ave, Operator: Circle Line Details: Read more on Viator Now!
Is this the fanciest dinner cruise NYC has to offer? No, not even a little bit.
In fact, this is one of the best harbor cruises in NYC that doesn’t even include dinner.
However, it has a coveted badge of excellence from Viator and is well-priced since a 1.5-hour cruise costs just $37.00 per person.
“This was an excellent tour! Lots of interesting information and our whole family ( ages 7-73!) had a great time. Highly recommend.”Jessice (Read more reviews now)
You’ll also be treated to live narration from one of Circle Line’s world-famous guides and can use free WiFi while onboard.
Then, head up to the expansive outdoor deck and take in marvelous views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.
Plus, the departure point is conveniently located in Midtown and is super easy to get to.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye on the weather because you can cancel this tour and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance.
7. From New Jersey: New York City Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise with City Cruises
⭐️ Rating: 4.2/5.0 (281 Reviews) Price: $194 per person Duration: 2-3 hours 📍Meeting Point: Lincoln Harbor Marina, 1500 Harbor Blvd Operator: City Cruises Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Looking for the best dinner cruise NYC has to offer that departs from New Jersey? If so then this is the best dinner cruise in New York City for you!
See, this incredible experience is operated by the pros at City Cruises and allows you to dine aboard the Spirit of New Jersey Vessel.
So, after catching the boat from Lincoln Harbor Marina you’ll take in stunning panoramas of some of NYC’s most iconic landmarks from the vessel’s special observation deck.
And as you cruise along the Hudson and East Rivers, you’ll listen to a live DJ and sip on unlimited coffee, hot tea, and iced tea before relaxing at your private table and digging into a buffet brimming over with baked ziti, mashed potatoes, oven baked flounder, Italian meatballs, carrot cake, and more!
Yeah, it’s pretty rad and former guests swear that:
“Nice, spacious boat. Great crew, food, and views.”Aurimas (read more reviews now)
Pro Tip: The parking situation in Jersey can be tricky. However, free parking is available Monday through Friday only.
So, you may want to have someone drop you off on the weekends since they don’t have their own parking facility and basically just validate your parking ticket.
8. New York City Sunset Cruise on Yacht Manhattan
⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (125 Reviews) Price: $78 per person Duration: 90 minutes 📍Meeting Point: 62 Chelsea Piers Operator: Classic Harbor Details: Read more on Viator Now!
Embark on an astounding 90-minute cruise past the Manhattan skyline as you get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
And while they can’t guarantee close-up views of the Brooklyn Bridge, you will get one complimentary beverage (Champagne anyone?) and can sip on that while listening to soothing music playing in the background.
Plus, you can do all this while relaxing on a swanky yacht that is a full-scale replica of something from the 1920s.
In fact, the historic feel of this boat adds to the ambiance and easily makes this one of the most romantic things to do in NYC.
So much so that travelers are saying:
“I loved everything about this trip! from the drink options, to the view, to the hospitality, it was a wonderful evening! We definitely picked the perfect time of 5:15, because we got to see NYC during the day, with a sunset, and at night! There was also not a bad seat on the boat, which i feel like is very rare! would DEFINITELY take this trip again!”Christina (read more reviews now)
And while no formal meal is included, it’s a great experience since you get to watch the sunset from the comfort of a spacious indoor or outdoor observation deck that makes for the perfect spot for multiple photo ops.
9. Circle Line: New York City Harbor Lights Cruise
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (1814 Reviews) Price: $44 per person Duration: 2 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pier 83 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10019 Operator: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Details: Read more on Viator Now!
If you’re on a budget but still want to enjoy the best dinner cruise in New York City then look no further than this New York City Harbor Lights Cruise with the Circle Line.
Not only is this experience extremely well-priced at $44.00 per person but it has actually received a Viator badge of excellence.
So, enjoy live narration during this two-hour cruise and sit in awe as the sun sets and the city lights begin to switch on.
And while you won’t be treated to a formal dinner, you can purchase a variety of snacks, drinks, and NYC souvenirs while on board – making this an ideal option for anyone traveling on a budget in NYC.
Other than that, just enjoy a fantastic experience on the water as you sail past the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan skyline, and the Statue of Liberty.
You’ll also learn about the fascinating history of this incredible metropolis and be given ample time to take incredible photos at each location.
In fact, one patron says that it was:
“Our first time to NYC and can’t imagine a better way to see it. The Statue of Liberty and the amount of time spent so we could get pictures was fantastic. The enclosure was warm through the cold and rain.”Cynthia (read more reviews now)
Pro Tip: Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. So, arrive early to secure the best seats and head to the top deck for the best photo ops possible. Also, please be aware that no outside food and drinks are allowed.
Best Dinner Cruise NYC FAQ
What do I need to bring with me on the Best Dinner Cruise NYC has to Offer?
Always look up the dress code for any dinner cruise you book and create an outfit accordingly. Just know that it can get quite cool while on New York Harbor.
So, it’s always a good idea to bring a jacket just in case you start to feel a bit chilly. You’ll also want to bring a camera and a valid ID that is typically checked prior to boarding.
Additionally, outside food and drink are typically not allowed on any of my picks for the best dinner cruise in New York City. Therefore, leave all that stuff at home and eat in advance if applicable.
How long is Circle Line tour?
It depends on the tour but most Circle Line tours are between 2 and 3 hours long.
Then, during the best dinner cruise NYC has to offer, you’ll travel beneath several bridges and admire iconic landmarks like Little Island, Hudson Yards, One World Trade Center, the Brooklyn Bridge, and more.
Are the Best Dinner Cruises in NYC Refundable?
Generally speaking no. Most of my picks for the best dinner cruise NYC has to offer are not refundable.
However, if visibility is poor on the day of your trip it’s always a good idea to call the company and see if you can rebook your trip for another day (also why it’s always good to build some flexibility into your schedule).
I have done this before and am so grateful I did this because my photos turned out AMAZING.
Please Note: If the Company cancels your trip due to inclement weather then they will either rebook your trip or usually offer you a refund.
How long is a city cruise?
It varies by cruise but most Circle Line cruises are at least 90 minutes long and give you impressive views of some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
How long is the ferry tour in NYC?
Most ferry tours are super quick and only last around 45 minutes. However, you will get to admire places like the Freedom Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and the Williamsburg Bridge along the way. Therefore, they are a great budget option.
Where does the circle line leave from in NYC?
The Circle Line Cruises typically depart from Pier 83 which is conveniently located in midtown Manhattan – perfect if you’re staying somewhere near Times Square.
🥂 Busy? Then book this dinner cruise in NYC right now! It’s my personal fave and has everything you need for a magical experience. 🥂